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Melbourne’s trophy home market has secured another landmark sale after the Armadale estate known as Namarong sold above its price guide of $22 million to $24 million.
Theatre director Michael Kantor and his wife Silvia listed the Hampden Road residence in April with hopes well above its purchase price of $9 million in 2008.
Forbes Global Properties’ Michael Gibson, who handled the sale with colleagues Robert Fletcher and Ken Jacobs, confirmed that two local families bid in a private auction on Thursday night.
He said it sold over the price guide but would not be drawn on the identity of the buyers.
“It just shows the strength in that market. If you have got a trophy property it is likely to do very nicely, as it did last night,” he said.
“It’s an iconic Melbourne property – it’s an Italianate home which in itself is a rarity, and nearly 3400 square metres of land in Armadale.”
The residence was previously owned by art dealer Rod Menzies, who also made headlines in 2018 when he sold Stonington mansion in Malvern for $52.5 million, a Victorian record that still stands.
Menzies bought the home for $3.425 million in 2000 from logistics boss Paul Little, who with his investment banker wife Jane Hansen bought Coonac mansion in Toorak for $14.5 million in 2002.
Namarong was built in 1868 for a shipping merchant who wanted a home set high on a hill so he could watch his ships moving in and out of Port Phillip Bay. The Victorian-era Italianate mansion was later owned by the Catholic Church.
The Kantor family completed a two-year renovation by architects Kennedy Nolan.
A nephew of Rupert Murdoch, Kantor is chair of Melbourne Fringe and a former artistic director of Malthouse Theatre.
Gibson said the completed renovation was a drawcard for buyers looking for a home ready to move in to, as labour and materials shortages in the building industry have delayed renovations and new builds.
The home features expansive gardens with rare trees, a tennis court, swimming enclosure and a gated forecourt in a style evoking the Luxembourg Gardens.
Gibson expects there will be more homes of this calibre listed closer to spring.
“There are many, many strong buyers out there with $10 million to $30 million to spend,” he said.